The Tryon Post Office is the place to be

Published 10:00 pm Friday, August 14, 2015

By Michael Baughman


Editor’s Note: I am pleased to welcome Michael Baughman as a columnist to the pages of the weekend edition of the Tryon Daily Bulletin. As a fairly new resident of Tryon, he will be sharing his humorous reflections about adjusting to life in this small town with his family, while hopefully not embarrassing his wife. 

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I went to the Donald Trump School of Public Speaking, which is where I learned to “Be loud and never apologize to an audience.”


So, I won’t apologize, but, let me start my first column by saying this: I am not Susan McNabb and I wish her and her husband well as they begin a new chapter in their lives. For me, I’m staying in Tryon. It’s too hot in Phoenix!


Bear with me as I give you a little background on me and my family along with what I hope to achieve by sharing my musings with you every other week, in this column, Life in the Slow Lane.


My name is Michael Baughman and by day, I’m a certified financial planner with Millard and Company, a fee-only, financial planning and wealth management company based in Tryon, N.C. (We’re in the old train depot).


We’ve moved around a lot, too much really, having lived in Philadelphia, Pa., Greenville, S.C., Washington, D.C. and Columbia, S.C. before settling in Heaven – I mean Tryon – N.C.


My family and I relocated here almost two years ago. We came here for all sorts of reasons, which I plan to explain further in the coming columns, but I can sum it up by saying this: We love the mountains, small towns and community, real community, not the Facebook kind. We wanted to raise our children in a place that hasn’t been harmed by too many people and too much development. We wanted to live in a small, mountain community filled with different people and different backgrounds but all with a similar desire: to live life to the fullest while helping others and leaving a small footprint.


I have no doubt we’ve found what we’ve been looking for. I look forward to sharing some of our experiences with you and I hope you’ll share some of yours with me.


And now, welcome to “Life in the Slow Lane.”


The only thing that moves fast around here are the people running (a.k.a, walking swiftly) to see the ruckus anytime there is a police or fire truck with its lights and siren on. It happens so infrequently that when it does, it’s usually big news. It’s been a long time since I’ve lived anywhere where the mere lights and sounds bellowing from a fire engine caused such a stir.


Life moves pretty slowly around here and that’s just the way we like it. That said, Tryon is anything but a sleepy little Southern town. There is so much more here than you think.


For example, we have a post office. I know, there is nothing unique about a post office, unless you’re a seven and a four-year-old with limited access to technology – then it’s the coolest place around! The post office used to be a hassle for me and now it’s an adventure filled with excitement. Our kids LOVE to go “check the box.” That’s right: the cool thing to do here is have a P.O. box so you can go to the post office regularly to see and be seen.

Ellie and Jack entertain themselves at the post office without the use of electronic devices or an adult telling them what to do!

Ellie and Jack entertain themselves at the post office without the use of electronic devices or an adult telling them what to do!


Speaking of fun (and free) things to do with kids (or grandkids) around here, I’ve started a list:

  1. Walk somewhere, anywhere.
  2. “Pop-in some shops” (I’m quoting my seven-year-old here)
  3. Go visit someone, anyone. Bonus points if they are elderly or in need.
  4. Take a picnic to Harmon Field, FENCE, or the McMillan Garden next to the Tryon Fine Arts Center.
  5. Visit Mr. Cowan at Cowan’s Hardware store. Listen to him do his famous train whistle. One day, we won’t be able to hear him do that.
  6. Go for a hike at FENCE. You may end up at an owl or snake symposium or a kite festival.
  7. Get outside, stay outside.
  8. Attend Super Saturday or a concert at Rogers Park or TFAC.
  9. Get off your phone, laptop or portable electronic device and talk to someone.
  10. Play red-light/green-light at the post office. Ask others to join in.
  11. Help someone. Repeat.
  12. Never forget how lucky we are to get to live and work in paradise.

There is something really special in these hills and it’s not the corn whiskey!


Michael writes a blog,, and can be reached at

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